Early voting numbers continue to surge in North Carolina

Moss Brennan, Reporter

Over 1.2 million North Carolina voters have cast their ballots either in person or by mail so far in the 2020 election. 

“We’re glad to see so many North Carolina voters performing their civic duty and letting their voice be heard by voting,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections in a press release. “We look forward to more North Carolinians casting their ballot and staying safe while doing so.”

The 1,248,886 votes brings the total turnout to 17.12% so far in the 2020 election.

In Watauga County, 8,284 people have voted. Over 3,100 people have sent in absentee ballots while over 5,100 have voted during the early voting period. 

Watauga County’s turnout is at 18.43% as of Saturday morning. In 2016, a little over 30,200 people voted in the county which was good for a 65.33% turnout. 

The App State campus voting site has seen the most voters with 1,418 voting there in the first two days of early voting.

A key factor in the 2020 election is an increase in early voting hours. North Carolina has 471 voting locations across the state — up from 453 in 2016.

Watauga County has six early voting sites open six days of the week. 

The number of early voting hours has also increased nearly 80% from 43,337 total hours to 77,887. 

Early voting ends Oct. 31.